Mum for Mum

About Us

What We Do

MUM FOR MUM NCJWA is a home visiting volunteer program, in which trained and supervised volunteers who are mothers themselves visit mothers in their homes on a weekly basis for the last trimester of pregnancy and for the first year of the baby’s life in order to provide emotional support. In the past 3 years we have supported mothers from over 55 postcodes.

Our offices are based in the Eastern Suburbs and the North Shore of Sydney.

The program is about early intervention in the crucial first year of a baby’s life where the volunteer’s role in reducing isolation, anxiety and depression in the mother enables her to parent her baby more confidently and provide secure attachment with proven outcomes for the future.

MUM FOR MUM currently supports approximately 130 mothers a year, with 110 active volunteers. We have supported mothers from 60 nationalities.

MUM FOR MUM was established as an initiative of the National Council of Jewish Women NSW in 2008 and expanded its services to the North Shore of Sydney in 2017. The program is based on the JF&CS’s Visiting Moms Program which started in Boston 28 years ago and the Em’ l’Em Program in Israel.

Impact of the Program

For the past three years Dr Irene Swil has conducted a formal evaluation of the program based on exit interviews with a majority of the recipients of the program just before or on completion of the program and with volunteers after each mother is supported. Each year the mothers described the service using words like “lifesaving”; “essential”, “amazing” and “invaluable”.

The volunteers were equally complimentary in terms of how the program helped new mothers and how they had personally benefitted from their participation. They said the new mothers “gained confidence, “loved the company”, “gained from trust in someone else”, and the volunteers themselves “learned to listen non-judgmentally”, “gained knowledge, empathy, and caring with no expectation of anything back”, and “felt satisfied and fulfilled”.

Read more about the research outcomes of volunteer home visiting programs for both families and volunteers.

Mum for Mum in the Media

Our Team

Professor Marie-Paule Austin

Marie-Paule Austin

Professor Marie-Paule Austin also serves as Director of Perinatal Psychiatry at the Royal Hospital for Women and Director of Sir John of God Mother-Baby Unit.

Nadene Alhadeff

Nadene Alhadeff
Executive Director

Nadene has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, a postgraduate counselling qualification from the Australian College of Applied Psychology, a Cert 1V in training, is a qualified yoga teacher, and a “Circle of Security” facilitator.
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Janet Henegan

Janet Henegan
North Shore Coordinator

An experienced trauma-informed social worker, with a focus on post-adoption and relationship counselling.  Janet has held service management positions and is well versed in policy development, budgeting and staff supervision in the not for profit sector.
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Lyn Brand

Lyn Brand
North Shore Intake Coordinator

Lyn has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. She worked for 15 years at Jewish Care as a caseworker working with vulnerable families.
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Board Members

  • Diane Schaffer (Chair)
  • Maxine Bachmayer
  • Daniella Gavshon
  • Barbara Shotland
  • Jenna Myerson
  • Suzy Wolanski
  • Nicci Ellison

Our Volunteers

Our Volunteers

Community Recognition

  • 2020 Nadene Alhadeff represents MUM FOR MUM NCJWA on Boards of WHAMglobal and Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy
  • 2019 Nadene Alhadeff sat on Q&A panel during Child Protection Week organised by NAPCAN
  • 2018 NAPCAN Play our Part Award (NSW) to be announced at the National Child Protection Week in September.  NAPCAN: National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • 2018 NSW Volunteer Team of the Year Award from the Centre for Volunteering
  • 2018 Waverley Council Local Hero Award for the role of the volunteers
  • 2018 Australia Day Community Service Award to Nadene Alhadeff for “outstanding service to the community of the City of Randwick”
  • 2017 Woollhara Council Community Grant
  • 2016 HESTA Community Sector Communication Award 2016
  • 2014 Wellbeing Award from the Sydney branch of the Australian Psychological Society
  • 2013 Woollahra Council Citizenship Award
  • 2011 – 2017 Wolper Jewish Hospital Grants

Endorsements of the Program

  • Researchers have shown that the negative effects of stress and anxiety on the infant can be mitigated by positive changes in maternal behaviour. Thus support to mothers is vital in the few months after birth.Such intervention is likely to result in longer term cost savings for the mental health and medical systems.I understand and completely endorse MUM FOR MUM’s practice of training and closely supervising volunteers so that they are able to refer instances of postnatal depression and/or maternal anxiety to professionals who can deal with such cases. I have had extremely positive feedback from my own patients who have used the services of MUM FOR MUM.Dr Leo Leader – Obstetrician, Researcher and Lecturer
  • In today’s high pressure, high pace life, modern mums are having to juggle the demands of being a new mum, sometimes with competing responsibilities, and often with little or no family support. Mum for Mum provides a truly exceptional service to new mums, that is both practical and nurturing. I can confidently say that all women who have received Mum for Mum assistance have benefited immensely from their support.Dr Rahul Sen – Obstetrician
  • FRS is so glad to have found a service that we can trust to go into our clients homes and support them so intimately during such a vulnerable timeCatilyn Cox – Family Referral Services, Northern Sydney
  • From the time I read about the philosophy of the organisation, the stories of the mothers who had been supported, the sentiments and the skills of the volunteers, and the professionalism and care of the trainers and management team – I wanted to be connected with the program!I have been impressed by how the volunteers unobtrusively encourage mothers to know their personal strengths and ongoing supports within their individual social context, to provide confidential, non-judgmental listening to the mother and to strike that delicate balance of supporting the mum with her problem-solving whilst also trusting the mother to know the best decision for her.Heather Irvine-Rundle – Psychologist
  • I have been referring many women from all demographics and needs over the years and have seen how these women benefit from this wonderful programme. The MUM FOR MUM volunteers are passionate, caring women who play an extremely vital role in their allocated families lives. The support and guidance they provide the women and their partners is invaluable and eases their transition into parenthood. I can’t speak highly enough of this wonderful service and hope it continues to support women in need.Michele Simpson – Midwife at Royal Hospital for Women